In Memoriam - Prof. Megan Fairlie

Jan 22 2023 Posted: 12:16 GMT

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the recent death of Prof. Megan Fairlie of Florida State University. Megan was a graduate of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, at the University of Galway, as well as the State University at Alabama and the Washington and Lee University in Virginia, from where she received her J.D. 

Megan read for her LL.M. degree in peace support operations in 2003 at the Irish Centre for Human Rights and then embarked on her Ph.D. in international human rights law (specializing in international criminal law) under the supervision of Prof. Ray Murphy. 

Megan was a formidable advocate with an extensive knowledge of international criminal law in particular.  She was a renowned scholar who published widely in this field and honed her skills as a lawyer initially while an attorney for both branches of the New York State Legislature and the Office of Children and Family Affairs.  Prior to her illness, Megan was a core contributor to the Irish Centre for Human Rights Summer School on the International Criminal Court and a range of other prestigious international events. 

Megan will always be remembered for her intellect, scholarship, warmth, friendship, loyalty and sense of humour - with a distinct infectious laugh. She was the mother of two wonderful girls whom she loved dearly, Aileen and Maca. She showed great courage in her battle with cancer and is greatly missed by her extended family and many friends in Ireland and abroad.  

For all who wish to honor Professor Fairlie, a fundraiser has been established for her two daughters:

We share the following obituary that Megan’s family has written in memory of their beloved daughter, mother, sister and wife. 

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Megan Aileen Fairlie of Weston, Florida after a courageous battle with cancer.  Dr. Fairlie, the daughter of Brian and Gail Fairlie of Venice, Florida, was born and raised in Staten Island, NY and was a graduate of Notre Dame Academy and the State University at Albany.  She received her J. D. at Washington and Lee University in Virginia and earned both her LLM in International Peace Support Operations and Ph.D. in Human Rights Law from the National University of Ireland, Galway. At the time of her death, she was a tenured Professor of Law at Florida International University. Dr. Fairlie was a citizen of the world, lecturing at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, the Amsterdam Centre for International Law and the Hague, and she had amassed a small army of friends and colleagues around the globe.
However, our Meg was still very much the girl she always had been.  Although fiercely independent, Meg called her mom every day. She swam daily, the way she learned at Hillside Swim Club, danced a somewhat dangerous Irish jig, and still listened to the Smiths and other music once found on the Choir Loft juke box. Meg told great stories filled with an eclectic array of accents and colloquialisms from the many places she lived.  She had both a confident and commanding vocabulary, and an outrageous laugh.
In addition to her devoted parents, Meg is survived by her “raison d’etre” daughters Aileen and Maca Fairlie Herman, her husband, Matthew Herman, her sisters: Kristi (Tim) Geddis and Heather (Devin) Reilly, her nephews: Timothy and Toby Geddis, Devin and Kailan Reilly, and her nieces: Faeryn and Clodagh Reilly.  Meg is the granddaughter of John (Monona Rossol) Fairlie Sr., and the daughter-in-law of Art Herman and Betty Herman Turner.  She was predeceased by her maternal grandparents, Gerard and June Daggett, her paternal grandmother Mary Fairlie, and a sister-in-law, Lori Herman.
Megan will be forever loved and remembered by her many aunts, uncles and cousins from her amazing Fairlie and Daggett family.  She will be sorely missed by her many “Irish Mates.”
A former prosecutor and formidable opponent, our Meg did not go gentle into that good night.  She raged endlessly against this disease.  Meg tried everything, including conventional treatments and multiple clinical trials.  She embraced a plant-based diet, swam, ran, and looked toward holistic treatments. Her family would like to thank Dr. Jeremy Jones of the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville for matching Meg’s determination.  We extend a special thank you to Megan’s friends and colleagues at the Florida International University School of Law for their endless support during her illness.
Megan was eternally grateful to her “Mommy and Daddy” and it was her sincerest wish to provide her girls the same opportunities her parents gave to her: to pursue their passions, find their bliss and live life on their own terms.  For all of those who wish to honor Meg, a fundraiser has been established for the benefit of Aileen and Maca Fairlie Herman.
Services were private at the convenience of the family.  A celebration of life will be held at a later date.